hump day nuggets: craftiness with eggs and such.

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

Huh. I wonder if I might be that ridiculous mom who hands out raisins on Halloween and stuffs Easter eggs with spinach. I promise I WON’T do those things because I am married to a man who values chocolate like many value sports cars and also I remember the taste of all that candy on those special occasions when I was a kid and I just will not be the turd in that punch bowl. Also, I don’t think I am ridiculous. In general. But holy smokes with the peeps and robin’s eggs and pastel m&m’s that everyone wants so earnestly to feed my toddler.

Do I need to loosen up? Yes.

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I mean, my family doesn’t celebrate Easter as a christian holiday, we celebrate the day for vibrancy, new growth, spring and a wacky excuse to drink mimosas on a Sunday morning and hunt for eggs full of soy nuts, er, skittles in the back yard.

There is a whole new and SO FUN aspect to holidays now that Margot is old enough to flip out over the magic of it all. And I love getting crafty an creative with what I have laying around, making our own traditions and magic that doesn’t involve spending of the cash money and subsequent garbage.

:: I came home from our week in Red Lodge to 30 eggs and Andy had been eating two a day and had given a dozen away. Our happy hens are quite productive. (Holy hell I am so thankful I don’t ovulate every day.)

We made our own egg dye (left to right: paprika, plum, tumeric, blueberry) and slowly beautified our brown eggs all day on Sunday.

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Paprika did exactly nothing except look pretty for this photograph. That lone glass of dirt water at the back was my attempt at boiling some dandelion greens. Also, not pictured is coffee, which was my favorite (speckled egg, center, below).

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To make egg dye, mix a cup of water with a tablespoon of white vinegar and add pigmenting stuff. For fruit, use salt instead of vinegar. I boiled the blueberries and plums (I actually used last season’s plum butter!) with the water and pressed the liquid through a strainer.

The whole process was quite beautiful and very fun.

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:: I’ve never been much for holiday decoration but I was completely smitten with this little nest I saw. It was a fabulous project for Margot who loves nothing more than the following: 1. glue 2. getting messy 3. birds 4. scissors 5. dipping objects into liquid.

So, to make, cut up paper into strips.

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Mix a few tablespoons of clear-drying glue with a cup of water. Flip a bowl upside down and cover the bottom with saran wrap.

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Immerse the paper strips in the glue mixture and coat the bottom of the bowl. Add a few dry strips to the outside when done.

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Let set for a few hours and peel off. Let dry and that’s one stinkin’ cute nest.

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And one stinkin’ cute kid who is so proud of her nest.

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And three stinkin’ cute chickens who laid some sweet eggs to go in the nest.

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We made two nests out of one paper bag. I thought we could find egg-shaped rocks to paint and place in the nest. I was certain Margot would be so excited for this. We went outside and I picked up a rock and said, Hey, bug, this looks like an egg. And she said, No. That’s a rock, mom.

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And so we just collected cool rocks. And she has no desire to paint them. So we have a nest of rocks.

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:: I have been thinking on the plastic egg schtick for a while. I just don’t want them but I enjoy the concept of them. I found these sweet crocheted eggs and coveted them and wished I crocheted but settled on sewing some egg bags for stuffing with CANDY and hiding all about. Also if I crocheted I’d make an Easter egg basket out of plastic bags but instead I think I will buy one of these beauties. Seriously, how fabulous is etsy??

Ok eggs. At first I used woven fabric, lined and turned. But, this mama needed something quicker than that. During a 3:30am breastfeeding session I remembered I had a ton of scrap felt from Margot’s birthday party…felt=EASY.

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I cut out two pieces of felt, embellished a bit or not, machine-stitched up and over the top 3/4 of the egg and then made a drawstring at the bottom with yarn.

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These seriously took no time at all. You could really get crazy cute if you wanted…I was tempted but then I reminded myself it was midnight and these are egg bags.

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:: I am working on a new shirt line of fruits and veggies. They’ll be out by May. My trip across Montana was also for business and I gained a few new shops: The Natural Baby Company in Bozeman and The Glass Rabbit in Red Lodge. Perhaps a shop in Helena too…also, I just dropped an armload of Montana shirts off at Blackbird here in Missoula!

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:: And now for the non-egg craftiness portion of today’s post.

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:: Virgin Harvest High Mowing Organic Seed Winners:

  1. Katie, Denver, Colorado: first pumpkin patch and first time canning food
  2. Heidi, Naples, Florida: first aero garden
  3. Jodi: first time starting own seedlings, all organic veggies, growing rhubarb, potatoes, broccoli
  4. Erika, Missoula, Montana: first garden
  5. DC, Fort Collins, Colorado: first time growing onions and celeriac from seed and a string bean variety suited to drying.

Congrats! E mail me at digthischick at g mail dot com with your address. Also, I’d like to try to customize the seeds you receive, so tell me what your heart desires. Or, if you want to be surprised, I can do that too! Those who missed out on the giveaway, you can still join the fun.

:: Black Dog Publishing sent me a copy of Kids in the Garden: Growing Plants for Food and Fun to review.

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Oh this book is fabulous! It is super informative and fun, full of recipes, projects and great information about soil and plant structure, how to grow different veggies and fruits, birds and bees (not in that way). I really love it a lot.

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***Black Dog Publishing is offering dig readers a 40% discount on this title; just enter ‘dig this chick offer’ in an e mail to jess at blackdogonline dot com.***

(This also reminds me that today is the last day to enter ‘dig this’ at checkout to receive 15% off your Sprout Pouch purchase.)

:: Paige is really proud of our compost.

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:: Getting outside feels so good this time of year. A coat should probably be worn but it doesn’t have to be. Our entire household is loving the thawed earth.

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:: I talked about Mount Maurice being my favorite mountain, protecting Red Lodge. This old maple in our backyard is my favorite tree and the guardian of our little family. Love this tree.

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My mom arrives in town today (!) and this Sunday we’ll celebrate by gathering with friends, eating amazing bread and an egg or nine, dancing, singing, watching spinach grow and discovering colorful bags full of treats under this very solid, very special tree.

What are you celebrating right now?

31 Responses to hump day nuggets: craftiness with eggs and such.

  1. booksNyarn says:

    Oh hooray for spring and coloured eggs. Our lazy Easter weekend has turned chock full of busyness, so I am trying to figure out WHEN we will colour the eggs, much less anything else. :)

    Congrats to all the winners!

  2. Sarah says:

    I love the paper nests. We have a bird making a nest in a box right outside our window…the girls love watching the bird work, so this will be a great project for us right now! This is also a great resource for a workshop I’m teaching with 5 and 6 year old! Thanks for your great ideas.

  3. Wendy says:

    My favourite part of this post is the photo of the eggs and the chickens…my first thought was how did such little chickens lay such BIG eggs???

    We are also looking forward to gathering with extended family this weekend (Jim wanted turkey, so he’s cooking a Good Friday Turkey dinner, and I will make ham on Sunday).

    My 11-year-old recently discovered the truth about the Easter Bunny (and Santa, and the Tooth Fairy), but wants to have an Easter egg hunt anyway…there’s a time and a place for spinach, and Easter eggs aren’t it!

    Wendy
    writerwoman61.wordpress.com

  4. Joan says:

    Your nests are so cute and those felt eggs are over the top cute. Great idea. These pictures make me miss you guys. Tell Margot Bea to come here quick. QUIIIIIICK!!!

  5. Sage says:

    Celebrating my job, which, thankfully, looks like it will continue under it’s current umbrella. Recognizing, I really love what I do, the people I work with, and the balance it provides me.

    Celebrating that life is full of change, and promise, and hope are always around the corner. And time with family and kids.

    Celebrating who I am and that is one strong determined woman.

    Celebrating that spring not only brings green, but also a fresh new perspective.

    Thanks for asking.. .since i am not a blogger, it is fun to sit down and write.

    xox
    Sage

  6. KatDale says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. KatDale says:

    Best blog ever! If I had more time I would crochet all those eggs and easter baskets…but dryer balls are keeping me busy!!!

    All your stuff is so beautiful! Happy Easter!

    PS Aren’t the Good Food Store bags amazing….I somehow use them for EVERYTHING!

  8. Melinda says:

    I too try to bypass on most of the candy and opt instead for plastic bugs/dinosaurs to hide in the eggs. The entertainment of hunting eggs lasts a lot longer and doesn’t have the sugar-rush side effect. I’m hoping to make a basket to fit all of their new sand toys into before Sunday…got the idea from this blog: http://resweater.blogspot.com/2010/03/tutorial-tuesday-recycled-wool-easter.html A fun twist that seemed to fit with your homemade egg idea.

  9. Ann says:

    Can’t wait for the new fruit and veggie shirts!! I hope you make some chili peppers shirts!!

  10. Kelle says:

    Dude, the blueberry stained egg is the bomb. And lol on the nest full of little rocks.
    Ruby’s eyes are, as always, delicious, and whoohoo to Heidi for representin’ the Naples folk.
    And yay to holidays with our babes.

  11. Hooray for being a seed winner!

    Love all the crafting. For some reason, it cracks me up that you have a hen named Paige. Love that! :)

  12. jen says:

    i love brown colored easter eggs. so fun.
    and that nest! awesome idea!
    i’m celebrating this beautiful mn weather. gorgeous outside. warm. seriously warm. loving it.

  13. Clancy says:

    Great egg colors, much nicer than the neon-glowstick colors.

  14. Jeanna says:

    1) I feel the SAME WAY about people feeding my kid candy. Love the memories, but geez, does he really need all that junk? 2) LOVELOVELOVELOVE those egg bags!!!! 3) Holy cow on the Kids in the Garden book! I’m super excited to get my almost 3-year-old really involved with our tiny garden but I’m not sure how exactly. Definitely going to look into this. :)

  15. Melissa says:

    oy. avi discovered jelly bellies at his share care buddy’s house just this week. leeor and i feel like the grinch bc we are not into it . . . what to do? i feel you!

    love the eggs–espec the coffee color.

    love your girls and your crafts.

    we are in the throes of passover. it’s a great holiday. one of my faves.

    in sf, there is a “handsome jesus” contest in dolores park every easter sunday. . . if the weather is nice, we may have to check it out (one year, i hear, people showed up as “handsome cheeses.” only in sf). and my mom always gets avi a special basket, but i like your nest idea! maybe we’ll try it on friday . . .

    happy easter! enjoy your mama time!
    xo

    ps. ordered a sprout pouch for my sister in law today! thanks for the discount!

  16. dc says:

    Another lovely post and I won some seed to boot! I’m celebrating lots of little things in the garden: the beautiful species crocus and iris reticulata popping up in all the little nooks I tucked them into in the fall. I hate planting big bulbs but those little guys are easy to plant. Celebrating my August planted spinach that is growing so nicely. Celebrating my onion seeds sprouting.

    I’m really looking forward to an annual Orthodox Easter party we’re going to on Sunday. They roast 2 lambs, make lots of Greek cookies, provide kegs of local brew (New Belgium) and we (at least 100 of us!) bring potluck dishes. It’s a fun day and we can bike over. OPA!!

  17. okay, nici you are my hero.
    i was talking to my mom on the phone today and explaining how i don’t want to buy those cheap plastic throw away eggs and if i could find some nice eco friendly ones that could be saved for years to come that would be great. also, wanted to use natural dyes for our eggs but caved and bought paas….now wanting to return it and try your dyes. it’s so hard to not get sucked into the crazy easter aisles full of plastic and high fructose corn syrup. great job doing what you do, i am once again inspired!!! happy easter

  18. Wendy says:

    I’m way too impatient for the natural dyes. (Lame, I know)

    Next time you might want to try using the liquid chlorophyll they sell at the health food store. That was our most effective batch. But still not quick enough for my tastes.

  19. Jodi says:

    I was enjoying my weekly read of the nuggets and was going to comment on how much I loved the organic feel of everything you are doing to celebrate easter (okay comment done); when I saw my name on the list of winners. My mouth dropped in total excitement! Yay for me! And yay for Spring! And yay for home grown,naturally dyed Easter Eggs! I love it all. Thank you!

    We are celebrating Passover and decorating Easter eggs this week. We have a mix of both! It’s a beautiful week full of beautiful holidays and reasons to be happy. :)

  20. Ann says:

    The egg bags are brilliant. I am really loving felt projects and I hate plastic eggs. Not sure I have time before Easter but maybe…I did make a finger puppet felt bunny from this blog and the link in it.

    http://lilfishstudios.blogspot.com/2010/03/bunny-finger-puppets.html

  21. April says:

    I LOVE the bird’s nest. My parents have a restaurant and I am totally making those for spring decor so my mom will stop buying shit from Oriental Trading!

  22. I love your paper basket! I think I’ll try that with my 3 year old. Also, I wanted to share with you something that my sister and I do with our families. Rather than hiding a couple dozen eggs with candy in them, we hide the eggs with a clue inside. My son is only 3 so we use pictures of items. This leads them around the yard (or house for some years!) to find either a special prize or their Easter basket. It’s fun, has the same concept, and way less sugar is involved! I just thought I would pass it on. I hope you and your family have a great holiday.

  23. Amazing that you did all that with a 2 year old and baby. I’m merely failing at typing with a crying two old on my lap.

    Those eggs are beautiful and I am also glad it’s the chickens who ovulate daily.

    And nodding at all the candy-fear. I am the ridiculous mom who rations heavily the kids’ exposure to sugar, and secretly snarfs it all myself.

  24. ellen says:

    Those felt eggs- a stroke of genius. I need to make some. Thanks for the nest idea, too! We will be making one this weekend.

  25. Gramomster says:

    @6512 ME TOO!!! Totally. I’m such a bad gramma… but i love me some chocolate!

    I was pulled tractor-beam-like to the craft store for glue and felt this evening, and actually got a paper bag at Meijer rather than grab my cloth one out of the trunk.

    Must. Make. Nests.

    My almost 4 year old grandson will love that project, and I’ll make some eggs to surprise him. The plastic dinos and animals are a great idea! That’s the kind of stuff the tooth fairy used to bring my kids. Little stampers, stickers, stuff like that. No stickers this year. Connor really likes decorating the hardwood floor….

    Thank you thank you for this most inspiring, beautiful blog.

  26. Melissa says:

    nici, avi and i made your nest this morning (and so much for eating sugar because he ate a good amount of glue, i think) and it was so fun. thank you!

    now to try some homemade dye . . .

    and the contest is called hunky jesus, which i think sounds even funnier. happy easter! xo

  27. Dana says:

    What a treat finding your blog!! I grew up in Libby and now live in the Seattle area. Your pictures make me so homesick and get me counting down the days until summer and crystal lake!!
    Love, love your blog, Dana

  28. Bridget says:

    those shirts are SO CUTE

  29. Jim says:

    I agree . . . pastel M&Ms are horrid. Hershey products rule.

  30. Oh my goodness. That nest is so great. We had chickens when we were growing up. Rhode Island Reds. My Daddy loved brown eggs. Very fun post : )

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